One of the really important things some buyers often fail to think about is the relationship between location and value. They get so caught up in the home they are looking at, the town and neighborhood become secondary. This can be a really big mistake if your life changes quickly such as having kids as mentioned above.
Towns and neighborhood locations can vary dramatically when it comes to value. For example locally in my area Brentwood and Germantown are night and day. One is a sleepy bedroom community while the aforementioned has some of the characteristics of a small city. You could not get more different when it comes to these town demographics.
It is important to really consider what you want out of a town? Are you having kids and therefore want smaller class room sizes? Do you prefer having grocery shopping right in the town you live in? Maybe a more commercialized feel is what your after instead of a country setting. How important is access to highways or having a commuter rail nearby? These are the type of questions you should be asking yourself before committing to a specific town to live in.
Most good real estate agents understand these concepts but they oftentimes can be lost on home buyers. These are all the kind of things you should put some serious thought into before purchasing a home.